Greenleaf Artists Sound Off: Year End Observations & Music Thoughts

Year end thoughts from Dave Douglas, Grammy nominee Donny McCaslin, Michael Bates, Linda Oh, Kneebody, Matt Ulery


Dave Douglas

Henry Brant would be 100! After co-producing his 52 trumpet piece with Festival of New Trumpet Music, I discovered his book called “Textures and Timbres: An Orchestrator’s Handbook.” It is extraordinary, a great insight into what made that music so powerful. I will spend another 50 years trying to digest it. It’s still in print, and worth looking up.

Wayne Shorter turned 80. John Zorn turned 60. I turned 50. Joe Lovano and I were honored to have a small role in the Wayne Shorter events, playing with our quintet, Sound Prints, with Lawrence Fields, Linda Oh, and Joey Baron, at several celebrations. The Zorn at 60 marathons were some of the most inspiring days of music I have ever seen; definitely like playing on an all-star team. And traveling with my own quintet, with Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston, has been one of the most challenging and fulfilling musical experiences of my life. It is a profound pleasure developing the music with these good people. We still have about 15 states to go and I look forward to working on that! Stay warm and we will hope to see you in Hawaii in the cold season.


Miguel Zenon, Oye, Live in Puerto Rico
Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense, Moment & The Message
Mauro Ottolini Sousaphonix, Bix Factor


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Two interviews: Dave Douglas & Donny McCaslin at

Posted by: admin on September 19, 2012 @ 4:13 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts), Dave Douglas (News), Donny McCaslin (Artist Thoughts), Donny McCaslin (News), Video

Dave Douglas and Donny McCaslin each say down with for an interview after the Detroit Jazz Festival earlier this summer. Each are celebrating new albums this month: Dave’s “Be Still” is available now (at Greenleaf and iTunes), and Donny’s “Casting For Gravity” hits October 2nd (preorder at Greenleaf and iTunes)


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Donny on 7th Avenue Project

Posted by: admin on September 30, 2011 @ 3:59 pm
Filed under: Donny McCaslin (Artist Thoughts), Donny McCaslin (News), Perpetual Motion

A great interview feature was recently posted via 7th Avenue Project with Donny McCaslin. Have a listen.

Created by radio producer Robert Pollie, the 7th Avenue Project is a weekly radio show for the seriously curious. Interviews and features on science, philosophy, art, music, culture and real-life stories, from Nobel laureates to prison inmates.

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Road Trip Playlist

Posted by: Donny McCaslin on July 1, 2008 @ 11:44 am
Filed under: Donny McCaslin (Artist Thoughts)

On the road with Johnathan Blake and Hans Glawischnig up in Canada this past week we’ve spent many hours in the van driving and during that time have listened to some great music.

Yesterday Johnathan was primary DJ and here’s a sample of what we listened to; My good friend David Binney’s release “Welcome to Life”. Great writing and playing on this. David is joined by the always killing Chris Potter on Tenor, pianist Craig Taborn, Adam Rogers on guitar, Scott Colley on Bass, and Brian Blade on Drums. They all play wonderfully as usual and David’s writing is terrific. It’s a very fresh sounding record in that David’s diverse influences have led him to a composing style and language that’s unique and original. Great record.

Next was “John Coltrane live from the Showboat” with Roy Haynes on drums and a barely audible Jimmy Garrison on Bass. Evidently McCoy was late to the gig so they played trio and it’s stunning. We listened to a blues and Trane’s solo on it is incredible. After that we stayed with Trane and listened to a cut from “Live in Stockholm”, this time a minor blues and again Trane’s solo is killing.

After that was a couple tunes from Kurt Rosenwinkel’s new record which was recorded live at the Village Vanguard. The band is Mark Turner on Saxophone, Adam Goldberg on piano, Joe Martin on Bass, Eric Harland on Drums, and of course Kurt on guitar. Kurt is a great musician and a really strong song writer. I remember when I first heard him years ago at Berklee and was struck then by what a great vibe his tunes had. I must get this CD. Great playing by all.

Another Tenor titan was next up for us and this time it was the incredible Sonny Rollins. Trio from the mid-1960’s, the song was “There will never be Another You” and Sonny was taking care of business as usual. I don’t remember the actual name of the record but it wasn’t the Live in Stockholm version. Actually Nels Henning Pedereson is on Bass this time. Any way, Sonny Rollins is one of my all time heros. I’m a little hazy on what came next but think it was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Evidently there’s a new version out that includes demo tracks, songs that didn’t make the record, and interviews. It’s pretty interesting to listen to and I was reminded of how much I love that record.

We followed that with “Off the Wall” again the new version with interviews and demos. That’s a great record too and one I hadn’t checked out. Need to get it.

Finally as we pulled into Patterson, New Jersey to drop Johnathan off at home we where listening to “Tribe Called Quest”. The first record…the title I don’t remember but it’s so funky. Johnathan has recorded with Q-Tip by the way.

Listening to all this reminded me of how much great music there is in the world. So much to listen to, so little time!

Peace – Donny

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